Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash at Age 41

Nick Crafa, Contributor

On Sunday, January 26, former NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight others, including Bryant’s 13-year old daughter, Gianna, fell victim to a horrific helicopter crash on their way to Gianna’s youth basketball game. Details continue to be released as the ongoing investigation into the crash reveals more information.
The helicopter carrying Bryant flew from Orange County to Burbank, where it awaited clearance to keep going. Despite the foggy weather in California, the helicopter was given Special Visual Flight Rules clearance, allowing the helicopter to continue flying. Many witnesses of the crash have commented on the conditions, noting that the fog made driving difficult. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was qualified to fly under such weather conditions, and was even certified to teach other pilots to do so. The question under investigation is not whether the pilot was qualified to fly, but whether choosing to fly through the fog was the right choice.
Those who died in the crash include, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, Pilot Ara Zobayan, college basketball coach John Altobellie, his wife Keri, and daughter Alyssa, basketball coach Christina Mauser, and Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter who lived in Orange County. All passengers were traveling to Gianna Bryant’s youth basketball game from the Bryants’ house in Orange County, California.
The investigation of the crash site is still ongoing. Chief Medical Examiner for Los Angeles County Dr. Jonathon R. Lucas said it might take days before all the bodies are recovered. Fans of Bryant will continue to remember his contribution to the LA Lakers and the legacy he left behind.